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Our Researchers

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Ralph Lavery

Queen's University Belfast

Ralph Lavery is a chemical engineer, with his research focusing on the area of sustainable energy specifically in the field of hydrogen economies and alternative fuels.

He graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a MEng in chemical engineering submitting a thesis on biomass emissions quantification. He then joined the Bryden Centre in 2018 for his PhD which had two main themes: medium to large scale hydrogen energy and heating integration with analysis of a variety of hydrogen vectors, and hydrogen systems for domestic space and hot water heating.

In September 2021 Ralph joined the Bryden centre work on hydrogen applications in the context of large-scale renewable hydrogen production and hydrogen economy infrastructure development.


Ralph’s work involves combining systems and process modelling with infrastructure and energy demand profiles to evaluate the viability of different hydrogen production methods and hydrogen vectors at varying scales using a range of metrics including Life Cycle Analysis and Techno-Economic Analysis. His work has engaged with industrial partners and stakeholders to evaluate potential hydrogen economy nucleation opportunities and the best strategies to overcome the associated infrastructure and operational challenges.

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Dr David Redpath

Queen's University Belfast

David Redpath is a research fellow at Queen's University Belfast, in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, joining the Bryden Centre in September 2021 carrying out research on green hydrogen and oxygen production and the circular economy.

His studies were undertaken at Ulster University, gaining an MSc in Renewable Energy (with distinction) in November 2004. Subsequently he undertook a PhD in Solar Thermal Engineering at Ulster University awarded in 2008.  


He joined Ulster University on a number of projects where he:

  • Investigated the thermal performance of novel building insulation products via in-situ testing as a Research Assistant, February 2008 to July 2008.

  • Investigated Solar PV and Electrical Energy Storage for electric vehicles as a Research Assistant, August 2008 to January 2009 .

  • Worked on Thermal Energy Storage, as a Research Associate, February 2009 to May 2010.

  • Worked as a Lecturer in Energy Storage, June 2010 to March 2011.

  • Worked on Thermal Energy Storage, as a Research Associate April 2011 to March 2016.

    • During this post he produced publications and reports; Consultancy for local industry, Experimental analysis, data analysis and purchase of laboratory equipment and developed thermal control and analysis system for retrofitted heat systems.


David then joined the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate where he worked on the Generation Integrated Energy Storage project funded by EPSRC investigating thermal energy storage integration with nuclear power generation. September 2017 to September 2020.

He was a Research Fellow at Brunel University London, investigating Energy Efficient and Sustainable Technologies undertaking research on the "Novel Nano-LiBr based Solar PVT Technology for Poly-generation (NoNSToP) project. October 2020 to June 2021.


David's research interests include solar energy technologies, energy storage, renewable energy systems, instrumentation, low-cost data collection techniques, techno economics and computer modelling of renewable energy systems using TRNSYS.  

To date, his research has gained 401 citations, with 25 publications and an h-index score of 11.

Research Profile

Ché Cameron

Queen's University Belfast

Ché Cameron is a research fellow at Queen's University Belfast with interests in Energy Efficiency and Process Monitoring using Industry 4.0 and Digitalisation technologies.

His studies were undertaken at Queen's University Belfast where he gained an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2017. Following this, he joined the OPTEMIN project as a PhD student and worked on Manufacturing Digitalisation technologies within the iAMS research cluster. He joined the Bryden centre in September 2021 to work on modelling Hydrogen Applications in the context of Renewable Energy Systems and Water Treatment processes.

Ché's work involves data acquisition (node design, wireless sensor networking), data management (database administration, automated 'munging' and visualisation), algorithms for time series analysis and techno-economic system modelling. He continues to work with a range of industrial partners to explore their operational challenges and to identify process improvements and energy efficiency opportunities.


Dr Ahmed I. Osman

Queen's University Belfast

Ahmed is a chemist, and his research sits within the area of sustainable energy; in the field of energy storage, environmental catalysis, biomass utilisation and solar energy. He joined the Bryden Centre in January 2021 as a research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast.


His MSc was on the production of biofuel from renewable feedstocks such as bio-methanol over alumina catalysts.  His PhD project had two main themes, the low-temperature total oxidation of methane as applied to after treatment of methane slip and the low-temperature partial oxidation of methane to produce a syngas which is further converted to liquid fuels.


He has experience in heterogeneous catalysis in catalyst preparation, characterisation and testing in different reactions such as dehydration, oxidation, reforming, water gas shift, pyrolysis of biomass along with the kinetic modelling of the thermal decomposition reactions.


His publication in Scientific Reports Journal is in the top 100 papers in Chemistry in Nature publication group journals. He was nominated for Robert V Neher Award (Germany) along with several public talks. He is acting as a reviewer in 10 peer-reviewed journals.  He has published more than 40 top peer-reviewed journals (4 in H-Index of 16.8), including three review articles and more than 14 conference proceedings (including three keynotes). He is an editorial board member in Scientific Reports (Nature publishing group) and a Guest Editor for 3 Special Issues in namely, Catalysts (MDPI), Processes (MDPI) and Environmental Chemical Engineering.

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Dr Xinjin Liang

Queen's University Belfast

Xinjin is a microbiologist with a research interest in metal and waste recovery using biological approaches. She joined the Bryden Centre in August 2020, as a research fellow at the Queen’s University Belfast, her project is mainly focus on developing a biorefinery system for waste recovery and enhancing the circular economy.

Xinjin obtained her PhD degree in Geomicrobiology from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. Previously, she gained her Master of Research degree from the University of St Andrews in Environmental Biology. Before joining the Bryden Centre, she has work as a research fellow in the Sustainable Environment Research Centre at the University of South Wales on the Reduced Industrial Carbon Emissions (RICE) project, an EU-backed scheme to test and drive forward next generation technologies to help reduce carbon emissions from Welsh industry. As part of her project, she helped to set up large-scale demonstration systems with global steel manufacturer Tata Steel, as well as Welsh Water, to support the testing of technologies that can capture carbon dioxide and convert it into high-end products. Previously, she had work as a NERC-funded postdoctoral research assistant in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, on the Tellurium and Selenium Cycling and Supply project (Part of the NERC Security of Supply of Mineral Resources project).

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Dr Dylan Furszyfer

Queen's University Belfast

Dylan is a research fellow at Queen’s University, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, working on fuel and transport poverty in Latin America and Northern Ireland.


Dylan holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London - Centre for Environmental Policy- and a PhD in Environmental Policy from the same institution, where he examined technology adoption and household energy behaviours. Prior to beginning his PhD, Dylan worked at CFE (the state provider of electricity in Mexico) where he collaborated in developing and conducting research for the sustainable development agenda. He also has experience working with French Development Agency (AFD).


Right after his BA in international relations, Dylan worked with the Association of Volunteers in the International Service (AVCI) to improve education systems in the poorest communities in the south of Mexico.


Dr Joseph Onoufriou

University of the Highland and Islands

Joe is a marine ecologist interested in animal movement and spatial ecology, particularly focusing on environmental drivers of foraging behaviour. He joined the Bryden Centre as a University of Highlands and Islands Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in April 2020, primarily based out of the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland. Joe also works closely with Bryden Centre affiliated staff and students at the Environmental Research Institute, Thurso, Scotland.

Using biologging technology to track the movement (both horizontal movement and diving behaviour) of marine predators, his research focuses on describing and quantifying how animals adjust their behaviour and distributions as a response to environmental and anthropogenic drivers. He is particularly interested in how energetic systems drive foraging behaviour as well as how the industrialisation of these habitats, through installation and operation of renewable energy developments, may affect these behaviours. The ultimate applied goal of this research is to provide renewable energy developers with a quantitative assessment of how to proceed in an ecologically sustainable manner.


As a Bryden Centre funded researcher, Joe intends to investigate the behavioural changes of harbour seals near a tidal turbine array in the Pentland Firth, Scotland. In light of results from his PhD which suggested that seals avoided these structures during operations, he will work with acousticians at SAMS to estimate acoustic exposure during these operational periods and provide the industry with further information as to the environmental impact of their devices.

Joe has a history of working with a wide range of researchers in Scotland including those within the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, Marine Scotland Science and SMRU Consulting investigating questions related to animal mortality, interactions between seals and shipping, and the effects of renewable energy installations, and continues to focus on establishing collaborations to answer his research questions.


Dr Valentina Gogulancea

Ulster University

Valentina is a chemical engineer with expertise in mathematical modelling for environmental applications, based at Ulster University, in the Centre for Sustainable Technologies. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from University Politehnica of Bucharest and has worked as a Research Associate on the EPSRC-funded Newcastle University Frontiers in Engineering Biology project.

As part of the Bryden centre, Valentina’s research is focused on the processing of under-utilised biomass and biomass wastes using thermo-, bio- and electro-chemical conversion technologies for energy generation. The main goal of her research project is to deliver a viable solution to the issue of biological waste disposal for farms, while also providing on-site heat and power co-generation.

Valentina’s work combines experimental and modelling approaches to evaluate the potential of several representative technologies (i.e. gasification, anaerobic digestion and electrolysis) and their coupling for optimal bio-energy production.

She is a member of the Environmental Biotechnology network as an early career researcher. In her free time, she enjoys a good murder mystery accompanied by a hearty cupper.


Dr Pál Schmitt

Queen's University Belfast

Pál is a marine engineer with research interests in fluid and structural dynamics. He was appointed as a Bryden Centre Research Fellow in January 2020 and is based at the Queen’s University Belfast Marine Laboratory in Portaferry, NI.


Pál graduated from TU Hamburg with a Diploma in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture and then joined QUB for his PhD which he completed in 2013.

He has gained industry experience working for companies across the offshore industry,  ranging from offshore contractors, a classification society and offshore energy device developers.


His academic research covers numerical and experimental design tools for marine renewable energy devices. During his PhD he developed a simulation environment based on OpenFOAM for the design of the Oyster wave power device. Since then he has continued work on OpenFOAM based simulations and expanded into tidal turbines and offshore wind but also developed novel tools for assessing the vibration of submerged bodies using CodeAster FEA and NEMOH BEM.

Beside simulations he is keen on experimental work, especially for the validation of numerical design tools, and has worked on wave tank and field testing campaigns using passive and active acoustic instruments and motion tracking.


Recently Pál participated in the Icure Lean Launch program and is now progressing commercialisation of his product idea, while developing his research idea on a novel numerical simulation approach for flexible structures like tidal or wind turbine blades.

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Dr. Lilian Lieber

Queen's University Belfast

Lilian is a marine ecologist with a research interest in predator-prey interactions and underlying bio-physical mechanisms. She was appointed a Bryden Centre Research Fellow in Jan 2019. Lilian is mainly based at the Queen’s University Belfast Marine Laboratory in Portaferry, situated on the shores of the Narrows tidal channel, Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, UK.  

Using a range of active acoustic instruments (multibeam sonar, echosounders, ADCPs), her research focusses on the interactions of marine fauna (seals, fish, zooplankton) and hydrodynamics, particularly in the vicinity of offshore renewable energy devices. Her research aims to further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the fine-scale distribution and behaviour of animals in highly energetic environments. In studying these interactions, this also aims to inform consenting decisions of offshore renewables. Working on the interface of ecology and oceanography, Lilian has also gained considerable experience engaging with developers, manufacturers and regulatory bodies.

Most recently, and in collaboration with Bangor University and the University of Plymouth, Lilian investigated the influence of wake structures (both natural and man-made wakes) on top predators using a combination of vantage point surveys, UAVs (drones) flights and mobile ADCP transects. 

As a research fellow funded by the recently completed EU Horizon 2020 Powerkite project, she was involved in studies relating to tidal device noise assessments and listening space reduction in marine mammals, collision risk modelling, the characterisation of highly energetic sites, and the investigation of fine-scale hydrodynamic features influencing top predator at-sea distributions.  


Lilian was a MASTS Prize PhD student and completed her doctorate at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.  She has had a long interest in sharks and worked towards developing hydroacoustic tools to visualise predators, their immediate habitat and underlying hydrodynamics. For instance, during her PhD, she used high-frequency multibeam sonar to detect basking sharks off the West Coast of Scotland.  Since then, her hands-on experience in active acoustic data collection has taken her further afield, e.g. the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory; 2016), South Africa (Robben and Dassen Island; 2016) and Ningaloo Reef (Western Australia; 2018) as part of on-going collaborations with the University of St Andrews (Prof Andrew Brierley).

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